My family has been using Shutterfly for years. We use them to store photos online, get prints, make cards, and (our favorite) to create photo books. In fact, I was so used to using it, that it completely caught me off guard when I brought one to work a couple years ago and learned that no one I worked with had even HEARD of Shutterfly. How could that be? But it was true. So I told them all about it, and soon, there were quite a few new Shutterfly users.
So let me tell you what shutterfly.com can do for you, and why it is so great. In short, Shutterfly is a photo site. People can create a free account, upload all their photos to this account, and have them stored there for free. They can also turn these photos into all kinds of things (they call them “projects”). Not only can you order prints (from wallet size to poster size) of your photos, but you can have them printed on mugs, shirts, mousepads, calendars, stationery, and more. You can even have them printed in a book. That’s my favorite thing to do with them. You can also create a “share site” to share some or all of your photos and photo projects with family and friends. Then, they can order some of your prints as well or use them in their own projects.
These are high quality prints and books, by the way. You can pick the kind of cover you want, but I always go with a hard photo cover. Basically, that means that the book is hard cover, and there is a picture printed on the front and back. I oftentimes even have them printed on the side where the binding is as well (the other options are to have text printed on the side or to leave it blank). I have used other sites before to do similar things.
And if you join Shutterfly, you will get periodic freebies. Every year, I get one or two offers to get a free 8″x8″ photo book with 20 pages in it from Shutterfly. Throughout the year, I get offers for free cards, free stationery, and free prints. In fact, creating a share site with them gets you free prints as well. They also have deals going on all the time for buying something and getting something else free or very discounted. And there’s almost always free shipping codes online for orders over $30.
To top it off, they have excellent customer service. To ensure that you are completely satisfied with your work, they include a slip with your projects that say that if you are unsatisfied for any reason, they will replace your order or credit your account. I can give you two personal accounts for this.
First is from my mom. She ordered a big photo book from them of pictures from our family albums in the year 1981 (the year my sister went from infant to one year old). She noticed the package had gotten banged up in the mail, and when she opened it, one of the corners had gotten banged up a little. She got in touch with Shutterfly, and they sent her a new photo book to replace it, free of charge. Since she had two, she gave the first one to my sister, who now has a nice photo book of her first year.
The second story happened to me. I recently ordered a photo book for Will and his parents of some pictures I’ve taken of him since I started in February. He is so cute. Anyway, when it arrived, the adorable picture that I had on the front cover and last page (that had been so perfect online), was blurry. When it was online, it was so much smaller in the preview that it looked fine. But at an 8×8 size, it was not as focused. No way I could have known that until I got it. As I looked at the other pictures, I noticed that there was some color difference between how the pictures looked on my screen and how they looked when printed. I was so sad because I wanted to give this book as a gift. So I contacted them, and they credited my account. I went back through my pictures and adjusted them, uploaded the adjustments to Shutterfly, and switched out the pictures that had been in the book for the new ones. Then I changed a few things around (the cover and last page). I reordered it, using the credit. And less than a week later, I had my new book! Elizabeth got it this morning and loved it, and it was so fun to give them a gift of memories.
In fact, I’ll show you what a Shutterfly book looks like, in case you haven’t seen one. Keep in mind, that I chose to have a black background for Will, a dog background for Sam and Liam, a beachy background for a family vacation. They have a TON of backgrounds for you to choose from (themes, colors, etc). And they have all kinds of layouts so that you can make each page have the number of pictures you want in the layout you like. You can also choose a different size book. It takes a while to sit and create a book, but it’s worth it. It’s such a beautiful way to keep and display your memories of trips, childhoods, pets, special days, every day, and more. And if you just don’t have the time, you can have them “auto fill” a book for you so you don’t have to do the work. I never do that though. I like to choose which pictures to include and which to emphasize.
This is the book I made for Will:
This is one I made of the dogs when they were little:
And here’s one from a family vacation:
It’s also great for other things. Say you want to remember all the sweet little art that your children create, but you just don’t want to have boxes and boxes of macaroni glued to construction paper and squiggles of crayon on printer paper. One suggestion Shutterfly once made was this: You could scan it or even photograph it, upload the images, and create a book of their artwork. You’ve preserved their work in a way that you can all enjoy it. They will love showing off their art, and you will love not having clutter everywhere. Genius.
Shutterfly is not the only photo site out there. Picaboo has given me a free book before, and I love it. Snapfish gave me something free, and it was a disaster. I will not be using them again. Shutterfly is my favorite though. They keep me coming back for more because they are so accommodating, so easy to use, and have products of such high quality.